BELTON — After four years of hard work, more than 300 Killeen High School students received their diplomas at a graduation ceremony Saturday afternoon.

“I am very proud of these students,” said Michael Sibberson, Killeen High School principal. “The future for this group is limitless. The possibilities are endless.”

This year, the school graduated 364 students at the ceremony, which was held at the Bell County Expo Center. For 18-year-old Eric Jackson, the occasion was exciting and long-awaited.

“I feel really great about everything, and I’m looking forward to the future,” said Jackson, who plans to study kinesiology at Texas State University next year. “It’s good to feel like all your hard work is finally paying off.”

Six members of Killeen’s class of 2013 have family members deployed overseas, including valedictorian Damon Potter.

As his father watched the ceremony via remote teleconference, Potter delivered his valedictory speech to his peers and encouraged them to continue to meet life’s challenges and achieve success.

“Each of us chose to devote the time necessary to achieve our goals,” Potter said. “High school is just one milestone on the road of life.”

Both Potter and KHS salutatorian Brandon Sullivan reminded their peers to thank parents and other family members who helped them navigate that road.

“I’d like to thank you for putting up with 18 years of madness,” Sullivan said.

Rodrick Jackson, Eric’s father, said seeing his son graduate was exciting and a little sad.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he said. “I’m excited and proud to see that he’s moving forward with his education, but it also means he’s growing up too.”

When asked what advice he would give to the parents of next year’s seniors, Jackson said staying active and involved is the key to success.

“Make sure they’re getting their work done, and that they’re working hard in class,” he said. “You have to be hands-on.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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